Same and Different

This is a great reading activity that will give students experience with ‘testing vocabulary’ and require them to use higher levels of thinking. You could also use it as a listening activity, but you’d probably want to have done it with a reading first since the immediacy of listening would make it more challenging. Begin…

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Susan Van Zant

One of the things that I love most about working at my school is that we have a Principal who is committed to providing incredible, frequent training opportunities to our teachers. Sometimes, I have a difficult time figuring out how to apply the material to my Spanish, Elective classroom, but more often than not, I…

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Student Self-Reflection Form

The middle schools in my district do “Student Led Conferences” instead of “Parent-Teacher Conferences”. Students spend time creating portfolios of their work in each class and reflecting on it. At the conference, they present the portfolios to their parents before the teacher checks in to see if the parent has any questions or concerns (or…

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QAR

Note: I first heard about QAR in a workshop with Carol Gaab during our 2011 AFLA Conference. I began to dig into it and published this post soon thereafter. Imagine my surprise when my principal brought in consultant Susan Van Zant just two weeks after I published it, announcing to the staff that this would…

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1-3-10 Free Write

A 1 3 10 Free Write is a twist on a traditional timed write, when students must write for a specific amount of time (either as a free write or on a specific topic). ORIGINS I learned this idea from Betsy Paskvan, a Japanese and English teacher in Anchorage, AK. A substitute teacher in Betsy’s English…

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Cornell Notes

Developed “far above Cayuga’s waters“, Cornell Notes are an effective note-taking strategy that can be used across grade levels and content areas. I was first introduced to Cornell Notes by my administrator in a 6-8 public school in Anchorage, Alaska. She didn’t have to sell me on it too hard since my grandfather, my parents,…

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